Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Downed Power Lines


(updated Jan.20/08)
You're out on the trails Geocaching and come across a downed power line... What do you do?

-Stay back at least 30 feet (10 meters) from a downed power line and anything it's near. Power lines don't always spark or jump like in the movies. A downed line may have no signs that it is energized.

-Call 911 for help.

-Make others in the area aware that there is a dangerous downed power line on the ground and that they should away from it as far as they can.

When a line(wire)is laying on the ground, electricity travels from that wire into the ground and energizes a large portion of the ground. This dangerous effect is called "Step Potential". This is why you need to stay away as far as you can because this effect can kill.
Step Potential is like when you throw a rock into a pond, you see ripple of waves get smaller and smaller from the rocks's entry... electricity is the same, where the wire is touching the ground, ripples or waves of electricity are getting less and less powerful.

Also remember, when Geocaching, keep your eyes open on the trails for all types of hazards. (holes, steep cliffs, wildlife, etc)

Stay alert and play safe,


Resources: www.epcor.ca)